The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Wegmans Food Markets Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's corporate bakery and distribution center in Rochester, N.Y.
According to a report from OSHA, the retail grocery chain faces a total of $195,200 in proposed fines, chiefly for inadequate safeguards, to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance. (WCxKit)
OSHA's hazardous energy control, or lockout/tagout, standard mandates that machines be shut down and the power sources locked out before workers perform maintenance. The standard also requires proper procedures, training and equipment to ensure that machines cannot be unintentionally activated and seriously injure workers performing maintenance on machines.
Inspections by OSHA's Buffalo area office found that Wegmans failed to develop, utilize and follow lockout/tagout procedures and to adequately train workers on hazards and procedures related to lockout/tagout hazards at this facility. OSHA had cited Wegmans in 2007 and 2010 for similar hazards at Wegmans locations in Rochester, so these recurring hazards resulted in citations for four repeat violations with $140,000 in proposed fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. (WCxKit)
OSHA also identified electrical, machine guarding, mechanical and ventilation hazards related to ovens in the bakery, and a fall hazard in the distribution center. These conditions resulted in citations for nine serious violations with $55,200 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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